The former NATO second-in-command updates his fictionalized account of a war with Russia—and worries the transatlantic alliance could be gone in as little as five years.
By KATELYN FOSSETT December 21, 2016
After retiring from NATO as its second highest military official in 2014, Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff penned the ultimate war game: A 500-page fictionalized account of a war between Russia and NATO, titled, simply, War With Russia. The book, in the style of anti-appeasement tracts before World War II, is a plot-propelled warning about the dangers of Western acquiescence complete with romances, a Russian president with a “pale, bloodless face” (known only as Vladimir Vladimirovich) and a group of bumbling, self-interested NATO ambassadors that can’t ever seem to agree on a course of action soon enough.
While the story may seem farfetched, key plot points look awfully similar to some real life geopolitical mischief we’ve observed in the past couple of years, like Russia’s sowing of misinformation to rile up public sentiment and justify military action. The basic plot of the book begins with a Russian invasion of Ukraine, followed by invasions of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. At each aggression, NATO members debate over how to respond, and every response is not enough to stop escalating Russian aggression, until, eventually war breaks out.
Since Shirreff published the book in May, several geopolitical earthquakes have upended our understanding of what the future might look like. Some of those events have taken our world closer to his fictionalized one—like Brexit, which he predicted in the book, and an increasingly aggressive Russia. And some of those events have surpassed his wildest scenarios, like Russia’s hack on the Democratic National Convention, an attempt to manipulate the U.S. election that even Shirreff concedes goes further than what he could have imagined a year ago. He also didn’t imagine a President Trump, who is far less supportive of NATO and far friendlier with the Russian president than the no-nonsense, relatively hawkish woman who is elected in the United States in the book’s fictional 2016 election.
Given how much the world has changed, we thought it was worth sitting down with Shirreff to ask how this fictional universe that he has spent so long creating has changed in just a matter of months. If the scenario he predicted was bad before, he’s feeling less optimistic now with a Trump presidency, an apparently emboldened Russia and a NATO he says might not survive for even five more years.
(This conversation has been condensed and edited.)
Katelyn Fossett: In the beginning of the book, a new U.S. president reverses the previous president’s “hands-off” approach to Russia; she arms Ukraine and is committed to standing tough against Russia. This doesn’t really sound like Trump.
Richard Shirreff: No. This is absolutely the antithesis of Trump. [In the book] we have an American president who is absolutely unequivocally prepared to lead NATO and to lead the free world.
What we’ve seen with Trump—and rightly, actually, in Trump’s case, rightly for America’s case, he called out European members of NATO for not stepping up to the mark in terms of defense spending and being dependent on America. But Trump is not alone in saying that; secretaries of defense and secretaries of State have said that over the last decade or so.
The really scary thing about Trump is what he said about not necessarily coming to their aid if a NATO member is attacked. In a stroke, that undermines the credibility of NATO’s collective defense under the founding principle of NATO, Article 5, which says that an attack on one is an attack on all. That is scary because the defense of Europe since 1949 and the establishment of NATO has depended on the total certainty that whatever American president is in the White House, America will always come to their aid if a NATO member is attacked.
And his recent appointment of Tillerson—here is a man who’s got an order of friendship from Vladimir Putin. So, you know, this isn’t a man who is necessarily going to stand up to Russia.
The whole principle of collective defense and deterrence is to raise the bar of risk sufficiently high to any decision-maker in the Kremlin so that biting off a chunk of the Baltic States is not worthwhile.
But after Trump’s inauguration in January, Putin might think it’s worthwhile because he knows that America may not come to the aid of Baltic States if attacked. So he may just get away with it, and that’s why this is so dangerous.
End of report
We agree that NATO is Doomed but for different reasons. This may not play out like this writer thinks, but the fact of the matter is that NATO cannot exist when Russia and Europe invade the Middle East as the Bible describes in Ezekiel ch 38.
But keep WATCHING this development as it is a sure sign that we are living in the last days before Christ’s Return. NATO will disappear and the EU will become a SUPERSTATE with its own EU ARMY and along with Russia they will enter into a final conflict with Israel and the Middle East. Germany is the key country in what Bible Prophecy refers to as the land of “Magog”.
They are spoken of militarily as the “King of the North”. Together the Bible says that Russia and the EU will invade the Middle East in the Last Days. So Bible Students expect to see Germany and France taking a greater role in leading Europe. It is also interesting to see Germany taking greater control of a continent they tried to take by war and failed.Yet again we see in Todays News Headlines words that show how the Nations are fulfilling the latter day alignment of Nations as Prophesied by the Bible.
See this article to learn more about Russia and Europe and latter day fulfilment of Bible Prophecy and The Russian Dragon Prepares
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